Cooking Oil Left On Stove Caused Fire At House On Lytle Street In North Chattanooga

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New details have been obtained related to Tuesday’s fire at 600 Lytle Street.

The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 5:50 p.m. and responded with four fire companies. Captain Jonathan Lehman with Squad 1 said heavy smoke was showing from the residence, with most of the fire located in the kitchen area. There were three residents in the house at the time, and Captain Lehman said all three got out of the house safely.

The firefighters made an aggressive interior attack and managed to contain most of the fire to the kitchen, but there was significant smoke and water damage to the rest of the structure. No injuries were reported. The loss was estimated at $48,000.

Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said four adult males lived in the rented house. One man was asleep in bed. Another was heating up oil on the stove to cook dinner, and another went to the store. The fourth man, Larry Williams Jr., was out walking his dog and as he returned to his house, he discovered the house was on fire. Mr. Williams alerted the two men in the house – including the one who was asleep – and they all got out safely.

The man who was transported to the hospital by EMS was not suffering from smoke inhalation as previously reported. Lt. McElvain said he was transported as a precaution, because he had a pre-existing medical condition. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the victims.

The cause of the fire was confirmed to be accidental, due to the cooking oil being left unattended on the stove.

To see video by Paul Elliott, click here.

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